How to determine the cause of mail flow randomly stopping in Symantec Mail Security for SMTP 5 when the application log fills with 'failed to connect to firewall channel.'

Article:TECH90156  |  Created: 2008-01-02  |  Updated: 2011-02-25  |  Article URL
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Technical Solution



You have recently experienced a crash / mail flow outage in Symantec Mail Security for SMTP 5 (SMSSMTP 5). The software has started up again after rebooting the machine. This crash occurs randomly - roughly every two weeks. You have the software configured to write its logs to the application log. The result of this setting has the software fill up the application log with the entry 'failed to connect to firewall channel,' and other error entries with the source SMSSMTP. You want to know how you can determine the cause of these random crashes / mail outage incidents..

Mail randomly stops getting processed.

Mail processing starts up again after a reboot of the server.
The application log is filled with 'failed to connect to firewall channel,' and other errors from the source SMSSMTP.
The software is configured to write its logs to the windows application log.
No other information is given in the application log. The software logs have overwritten all previous information.


Due to the sparse information that is available when this particular incident occurs, no particular cause can be given. In this situation, you are best served to call a technical support representative while the problem is occurring live. If the mail outage is occurring at random, then the best approach is to set the software to not log to the application log so that when the outage does occur, pertinent data does not get overwritten with the 'failed to connect to firewall channel entries.' If you need to look at the logs that the SMSSMTP 5 software has you can do it by viewing them through the control center.


Configure the software to not write log data to the application log and wait for the issue to reappear.

In the Control Center;

  1. Click Settings.
  2. Click Logs.
  3. Uncheck the option next to 'Enable logging to Event Viewer/Syslog.'
  4. Click Save.
  5. When prompted, click Yes.

After this setting has changed, wait for the event to occur again and call in to Technical Support so that a support technician can assist you in troubleshooting the problem while it is occurring live. The ability to see system and application errors in the event log the next time around will go a long way towards determining the cause of the problem.

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